New Gate- Love or Hate?

We have a very wide opening between our dining room and our living room.

Wide opening (ignore the mess, please)

This makes it very difficult to keep Pearl out of this area, especially since gating between the kitchen and dining room is difficult because of the small space and split storage which makes it necessary to go back and forth all the time when cooking. We did our best to puppy-proof the kitchen and the dining room and we gated the opening to the downstairs, where our landlord/roommate lives (I haven no idea why our house seems to have very few doors in it). But we’ve still had some challenges when giving Pearl run of the house. Despite the fact that we’ve never fed her from the table, Pearl begs. She also gets in the kitchen trash, counter surfs, and generally gets in trouble when we aren’t watching her. Plus, we share the kitchen area with our landlord/roommate and every time he comes upstairs Pearl likes to greet him by barking, jumping, and generally trying to chew his fingers off. Though we have been working with her to minimize these behaviors, sometimes the best thing to do is just try to stop putting your dog in those situations (and also, sometimes we need a break).

So we decided we really needed to gate off the kitchen/dining room area. I did some research and found a gate that would span up to 100 inches. This weekend, our landlord/roommate generously helped me install it (by which I mean he installed it and I watched).

My handy landlord/roommate installing the gate

Pearl is not so much a fan of this new setup.

She looks so sad- my heart is breaking

She has spent most of the weekend sniffing and staring at the new gate and whining.

Pearl sulking at the gate

I am not sure if there is a way to get her more used to this. It’s been awesome not to have to stop her from going through the trash, or be able to leave a dirty plate on the counter for five minutes, and not have to jump up and drag her off of my landlord/roommate whenever he comes upstairs. I think its a better alternative than crating her whenever we are cooking or eating. Right now, I am trying to handle this similarly to the way we handled crate training. When she whines or barks at us when we are on the other side of the gate, we ignore it. However, if she stands quietly at the gate, we will come over and say hello (I am not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing to do or if we should just consistently ignore her whenever we are on the other side of the gate).

It may be selfish, but I am really glad we were able to put in this gate. It makes our lives easier and makes our landlord/roommate happier. I just hope Pearl can learn to accept having her space limited. And I wish she would stop giving me those sad eyes, it kills me!

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About Pearl the Puppy

Pearl is just over 40 lbs of energy mixed with a pinch of crazy. We adopted her in March 2011 from a St. Louis rescue organization called Impact for Animals (now Pet Rescue Network). We are unsure about her age, but we are guessing she was born in Fall 2010. Her background is anybody's guess, but we are pretty sure that she has at least some sighthound in her. She's a whole lot of trouble but a whole lot of fun.

5 thoughts on “New Gate- Love or Hate?

  1. I didn’t realize Pearl was SO TALL! Goodness gracious. How old do you estimate she is?

    I’m jealous of your gate. It would’ve saved me at least 2 hours of sleep on my birthday — Elli got into the cats’ food after breaking out of her crate while I was at my bday dinner! Leading to frequent trips outside in the middle of the night… ick.

    You should definitely reward calmness behind the gate, especially when you’re on the opposite side. Otherwise you might get a gate/fence jumper (cough cough. Elli).

  2. Dont’ feel bad about the gate. Sometimes managing a situation while you take the time to work on it is the best thing you can do for a dog. It’s for her own safety – and for your sanity! Nothing could be more important, in my opinion. We have a similar gate between the upstairs and downstairs in our house. In their early days together, our cat and dog did not get along. Preventing Shiva from going downstairs gave the cat his own space. He could always retreat to the other side of the gate if Shiva pestered him too much. It really helped keep our lives peaceful. At this point we could probably experiment with leaving it open or taking it down, but the gate works so well at keeping the dog out of areas we can’t directly supervise, that I am hesitant to make any changes.

    • Thanks! I think you are right about my sanity. It’s better for Pearl and for me when I haven’t lost it. She’s been better today with it and it’s been wonderful not to have to follow her into the kitchen every time she goes in there to keep her out of the trash.

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